NATO-led forces in Afghanistan say they’ve captured an insurgent group commander with close links to the Taliban.
Arrested in the eastern Paktia province earlier in the week, Haji Mali Khan is said to be the brains behind the Haqqani network.
He managed bases and operations in Afghanistan and Pakistan and moved supplies and forces across the border.
The Haqqani network has been blamed for the recent assassination of former Afghan President Burhanuddin Rabbani.
“They are a violent and brutal group,” said General Carsten Jacobson from the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force. “They are focusing on the east of Afghanistan but they are spreading their activities into Kabul,” he added.
Meanwhile Afghan President Hamid Karzai says he’s now focusing on talks with Pakistan and has all but given up trying to negotiate a peace deal with the Taliban.
Karzai met with senior religious leaders to explain his new strategy.